ls-ls-nltr.jpg THE OLD WAR HORSE
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 6,           June, 2007
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A quick jump to the articles in this issue:
Commander's Comments, Adjutant's Report, June Program (next), May Program (last),
Camp Officers, Longstreet's First Corps, A Little Humor,


One of  the  many  things  I  have  learned  since  becoming
involved  with lineage organizations such as the SCV and SAR
is that every one thinks that their  ancestor  is  the  most
important  individual  in  history.  As far as the SCV goes,
not everyone can be as fortunate as  to  be  descended  from
Robert E. Lee, J.E.B.  Stuart or James Longstreet.  However,
in an ideal family historian's world, each individual  would
have   his   or  her  just  recognition  in  the  historical
spotlight.  As your commander and total controller  of  this
column, I have refrained from writing about my ancestors who
I believe deserve their own chapters  in  America's  history
books.  Currently there are four other Cowardins in our camp
besides  me  who  should  find  this  month's   "commander's
comments"  interesting.  I hope the rest of you will find it
interesting as well.                                        

Several months ago we were graced with the presence  of  Dr.
Bob  Kenzer  from the University of Richmond.  His topic was
the "Richmond Dispatch Project" which has posted all of  the
issues  of  the Richmond Daily Dispatch published during the
War of Northern Aggression on the Internet for  everyone  to
see.   During  the  war,  the  Dispatch  was one of the most
important newspapers in the country.   Its  circulation  was
the  largest  in  Richmond and was rivaled by only one other
newspaper in the south, that  being  in  New  Orleans.   The
Confederate   government   and   military   units  used  the
publication regularly for announcements and public  notices.
Yankee spies smuggled the paper into the hands of Union army
commanders  particularly   U.S.    Grant   who   found   the
information in the paper quite useful.  After the war, and a
brief suspension of publication (due to the  destruction  of
the   printing   offices  and  prohibition  imposed  by  the
occupying Federal forces) the Dispatch returned to is former
glory  as  one of the best, if not the premier newspaper, of
the  south  and  the  country.   This  month's   commander's
comments  will  concentrate  on  James  Andrew Cowardin, the
Dispatch's founder and one of the men who I rightly  believe
(as  his  descendant) deserves a more prominent place in our
nation's history books.                                     

James was born in Bath County, Virginia on October 6,  1811.
The family's homestead was located only a few miles from the
Homestead Resort.  The house in  which  he  was  born  still
stands  today  although  it  has  been added to and modified
several times since the family  lived  there  in  the  early
1800s.  Besides local lore and tradition, the only remaining
evidence  of  our  family's  presence  is  a   stream   that
originates  on  the  old family property.  To this day it is
known as Cowardin Run and it flows into  the  Jackson  River
that in turn flows into the ancient Cowpasture River.  James'
father was a stonemason and his mother was a  schoolteacher.
Due to his father's occupation, the family moved around from
county to county so he could work  on  masonry  projects  (a
genealogist's  nightmare).   In  1813,  just two years after
James' birth the family was living in Amelia  County.   That
year  his father left the family for several months to fight
in the county's militia defending Norfolk during the War  of
1812.   Just  about  all  of  James'  siblings  were born in
different counties.                                         

There is no doubt that young James owed his success in  life
to  his  mother.   A  devout Baptist, she instilled in him a
strong work ethic, and the love  of  learning,  particularly
reading  and  writing.   There  is  evidence that the family
struggled financially and at the age of 13, he was  sent  to
work  as  an apprentice at the Roanoke Sentinel in Danville.
He immediately fell in love with the newspaper business  and
evidently  was  good  at it.  At 16, he went to Lynchburg to
work as the  foreman  for  the  Jeffersonian  Republican,  a
staunch  advocate  of  states  rights and nullification.  In
1832,   the   paper   moved   to    Richmond    and    James
followed,although the paper soon ceased publication.  Out of
work, James  became  the  chief  clerk  to  Thomas  Ritchie,
publisher  of  the Enquirer and one of the best newspapermen
of the era.  Ritchie became very fond of young Cowardin  and
did much to advance the young man's career.                 

At  the  age  of  19, James decided to put his experience to
work by buying  an  interest  in  the  Compiler,  an  ailing
newspaper  that  was  barely  staying afloat but at the same
time had the distinction of being the oldest daily newspaper
at   the  time.   He  and  his  partner  William  H.   Davis
constantly struggled to keep the presses going but after  10
years  they  both realized that the paper just couldn't make
it and they sold their interests.                           

During this ten year period James met and married Anna Maria
Purcell,  the  daughter  of  John  B.  Purcell, a successful
Richmond druggist and co-owner of Purcell and Ladd, Co. Anna
and  James would go on to have seven children, three of whom
would fight for the South during the war.  Anna, being  from
a  proud  Irish Catholic family, made sure all here children
were raised as good Catholics.  One of their sons,  William,
would  fight  in  the  "Boy's Company" of the city guard and
helped catch Dahlgren and prevent his infamous raid.   After
the  war  he  became  a Jesuit Priest and Cowardin Chapel at
Georgetown University is named in his honor.  James did  not
convert to Catholicism until his last days, allowing his son
to perform the ceremonies.                                  

After selling his interest in  the  fledgling  paper,  James
decided to try a new business.  He entered into the world of
banking with his brother-in-law, Charles  Purcell.   As  his
obituary  stated:  "Never  was there a man more unsuited for
the part." James was said to be too trusting and lacked  the
capacity  to say "No" when it came to lending money.  Seeing
that he was not doing well in this line of work he began  to
look again at the newspaper business.                       

The  old  saying  "If  at  first you don't succeed, try, try
again" definitely rings true for James.  In 1850, he and his
old  partner  W.   H.  Davis decided to start a new paper, a
paper that was different from  all  the  rest,  a  newspaper
called  the  Richmond  Daily Dispatch.  This paper was to be
independent  and  dedicated  strictly  to  news  instead  of
politics   and   editorial   rants.   One  of  the  greatest
differences of this new paper from the rest in Richmond  was
that each issue would only cost a penny.  This was the first
penny paper to ever be published south of Baltimore.        

At first the paper struggled.  The news world  was  just  as
politically charged then as it is now.  Democrats subscribed
to and advertised in the democratically  slanted  paper  and
the  Whigs  subscribed to and advertised in their designated
paper.  After a few months Davis  lost  hope  and  sold  his
interest  to  James.  There was really no large demand for a
neutral paper.  This soon changed as the  Dispatch  got  its
foot  in  the  door  with  good editorials and as the "penny
paper" concept caught on.   Soon  its  circulation  grew  to
rival  its competitors and before the war it surpassed those
competitors and reached levels that rivaled those in  larger
cities like New Orleans, Washington D.C.  and New York.     

In  1852,  James was elected as a Whig to the Virginia House
of Delegates to represent Richmond.   This  was  as  far  as
James  went  politically  except  in  1869  when  he went to
Washington  to  lobby  for  the  end  of  Reconstruction  in
Virginia.    In   1854,  he  helped  organize  the  Virginia
Mechanic's Institute which provided apprentice programs  for
the  less  fortunate  citizens  of  the city.  He was also a
strong defender of slavery advocating the benefits of mixing
slave  and wage labor to build and improve the industries in
Richmond.  One time, wage workers at the Dispatch threatened
to  strike  if  they  were  made  to work on Sundays.  James
retaliated with a threat to fire them all and  replace  them
with slaves.  This diffused the threat immediately.         

The  Dispatch  became  pro-Confederate with the secession of
South Carolina.  Its editorials blasted Lincoln calling  him
"His  Sable  Excellency"  and  a "vulgar tycoon." As soon as
Virginia  seceded,  it  became  one   of   the   Confederate
Government's  most loyal supporters.  The ravages of war did
not spare the Dispatch as paper and ink became more and more
scarce and expensive.  The paper shrunk in size over the war
years and the quality deteriorated.  James did not serve  in
the  military during the war.  At the age of 50, he could do
more damage with his pen than his sword.  He was an honorary
member of the Richmond Ambulance Corps using his contacts to
arrange assistance in the form of food, clothing  and  money
for wounded and captured Confederates in the North.  He also
accepted  provisions  from  the  North  to  give  to  Yankee
prisoners.  The Dispatch ceased publication in March of 1865
due to the fact that all its workers were impressed into the
Confederate  Army.   When  Richmond  burned, the offices and
presses of the Dispatch went with it.                       

James took the Amnesty oath on July 1, 1865 and  received  a
presidential   pardon  on  July  13th.   The  paper  resumed
publication on December 9th 1865.  From this point on, James
never  looked back.  A diehard conservative Democrat, he and
his paper fought against Radical  Reconstruction  and  those
who were involved with the federally imposed government.  In
1869, he and eight  other  prominent  individuals,  a  group
known  as  the Committee of Nine, went to Washington to meet
with officials to try and end reconstruction in Virginia and
achieve a compromise on the new state constitution.         

In   1874,   James   helped   to  form  the  Virginia  Press
Association.  He was elected president in  1876  and  served
two consecutive terms.  In 1879 he suffered a stroke and was
prevented from running  the  day-to-day  operations  of  the
paper due to the loss of feeling on his right side including
his right hand.  His wife, Anna, had died  the  year  before
from  tuberculosis.  Shortly after his stroke he traveled to
Arkansas to the healing springs in hopes of finding  relief.
At  first  he  showed  signs  of  relief  but they were only
temporary.  The last years of his life  were  spent  at  the
healing  springs  in his native Bath County; waters which he
believed from an early age (As a child he was cured  from  a
serious   illness  by  those  same  waters.)  could  perform
miracles.  He always loved the mountains of Bath  and  those
were  his  some of the last sights he saw of this earth.  He
suffered  another   stroke   in   1882   and   was   totally
incapacitated.   He  was  brought  back to Richmond where he
died on November 21, 1882 at his son, Charles' house.   This
house  was  on  the  block that is now occupied by the Media
General   building   across   the   street   from    today's
Richmond-Times  Dispatch.   James  is  buried  in  Hollywood
Cemetery along with his wife and children.                  

James was very well liked.  He was one of  the  most  widely
known  newspapermen  of the time.  A talented fiddler, quick
witted and an excellent conversationalist, James  was  known
for his warm personality and ability to throw a great party.
Even in his older years he  seemed  to  still  be  young  at
heart.   Accounts  from  young newspapermen saying how their
expectations  of  a  strait-laced,  old-fashioned   Virginia
Gentleman   were  shattered  on  their  first  meetings  are
numerous.   Upon  his  death,  tributes  to  James  ran   in
newspapers all over the country.                            

James'  youngest son, Charles, took over the paper after his
father's death and no  doubt  would  have  made  his  father
proud.   He  continued  to  build  the  paper and expand its
influence and circulation until his death in 1890.  He  also
served  as  Chief of Staff to six Virginia Governors.  After
Charles' death the paper was merged with the Times  and  was
from then on known as the Richmond Times-Dispatch.          

Hope to see you at the next meeting!                        



We welcome our newest  member  Will  Akers,  whose  ancestor
Sergeant  Milton  Hervey  Vivion served in the 11th Kentucky
"Chenault's" Cavalry.  We plan to induct Will at our June 19

We  extend  get  well  wishes to Robert Mahone, who has been
hospitalized recently.                                      

Our congratulations to Richard Campbell, who was sworn in as
a  Judge in Richmond's Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
on May 10.                                                  

Many thanks to Clint Cowardin,  Lee  Crenshaw,  Ray  Crews,,
Gene  Golden,  Andy Keller, Lewis Mills, and Wally Scott for
cleaning up the Longstreet  Camp  section  of  Studley  Road
(Route  606),  Hanover County, near Enon Church.  Particular
thanks to Lewis who supervises this effort and  to  Lee  for
providing several pickup sticks, which prevent aching backs.

Thanks also go to our May speaker Ed Harris, who donated his
raffle winnings to our Buck Hurtt Scholarship  Fund.   We're
scheduled  to  present a check on June 12 to the outstanding
senior history student at Douglas S.  Freeman High School as
selected  by  the  faculty.   William  H.   "Buck"  Hurtt, a
private in the 26th Virginia Infantry who died in prison  at
the  notorious  Yankee  prison camp at Elmira, New York, was
the great grandfather  of  our  late  Camp  Commander  Chuck
Walton.   This  scholarship  award  was Chuck's idea, and he
made the first presentation in June 2003.  Chuck died  of  a
heart  attack  one month later, and we named the award after
his Confederate ancestor in honor of both of  them.   Buck's
surname  is  spelled with one "t" in the regimental history.
When I challenged Chuck on his two  "t"  spelling,  he  said
that  his mother spelled it that way, and he wasn't going to
contradict her.  Not wishing to be haunted by Chuck's ghost,
I now spell Hurtt with two t's.                             

John  Thompson,  Sr.   and  his  three sons have transferred
their memberships to Captain Abner S.  Boone Camp # 2094, of
Tennessee.  We wish them well in their new home camp.       

Several  Camp  members attended the Jefferson Davis Memorial
Service June 2 at Hollywood Cemetery, where keynote  speaker
Bud  Robertson  gave  a  fine  talk  entitled  "The  Abiding
Qualities of Jefferson Davis." Next year will be  the  200th
anniversary of Davis's birth.                               

At  the Davis ceremony Compatriot Keith Morris reported that
the Virginia Division is only 65  applications  shy  of  the
number  needed  to  have  a  Virginia license plate honoring
Robert E.   Lee.   Keith  handed  out  applications  at  the
ceremony  and  received  several completed applications with
fees.  Unlike the SCV plate,  which  is  restricted  to  SCV
members,  anyone  can apply for the Lee plate.  Instructions
are on the Virginia Division web site.  I plan to bring some
applications  to  our June 19 meeting for those Camp members
not connected to the Internet who wish to apply  for  a  Lee
license  plate.   Please  apply  today  to  honor one of our
greatest American heroes.  If  you  applied  previously  and
paid the fee, you do not need to apply again.               

A  friend  with a brilliant son once told me that the bright
lad had one big problem, he believed everything that he read
in  a  book.   How  dangerous!   I'm  currently  reading  an
otherwise interesting book about the founding of the U.   S.
Navy  entitled  Six  Frigates.   The  author states that DNA
evidence  proves  beyond  a  reasonable  doubt  that  Thomas
Jefferson  was  the father of Sally Hemings's children.  The
author obviously never read The Jefferson-Hemings  Myth:  An
American  Travesty,  edited by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr.  and
published by The Thomas  Jefferson  Heritage  Society.   The
author further states that James Madison was tutored at home
(Montpelier, Orange County) by a Scottish tutor.   According
to Barbara Beigun Kaplan's Land and Heritage in the Virginia
Tidewater: A History of King  and  Queen  County,  Madison's
Scottish  teacher, Donald Robertson, operated a fine private
school near Newtown, King and Queen County, from 1758  until
1773.   James Madison was a student at that school from 1758
until 1763.  Madison once said of  Robertson,  "All  that  I
have been in life, I owe largely to that man." James Madison
was a grandson of John Madison and  James  Taylor,  both  of
King  and  Queen.   Several  Longstreet  Camp  members  have
ancestors from  King  and  Queen  who  served  in  the  26th
Virginia  Infantry,  which  had  soldiers  from  Gloucester,
Mathews, and King and Queen counties.                       







Our speaker for this month is  Fred  Ray,  author  of  Shock
Troops  of  the Confederacy.  Fred will present a program on
sharpshooters in the War and their impact upon the waging of

This  is  a  subject  that,  to  our knowledge, has not been
covered before by any of our speakers and it should be prove
to be very interesting.                                     

Be sure not to miss this program!                           



Ed Harris of the Latane Camp opened his talk by asking us to
name  the  eight full generals in the Confederate Army.  Lee
came immediately to mind.  Ed helped  us  by  naming  Samuel
Cooper  as  the  least  known.  Camp members rattled off two
Johnstons, Kirby Smith, and John Bell Hood.  The last  named
were Beauregard and Bragg.                                  

Ed  then  told  us  that  Hood's  assignment  to the Army of
Northern Virginia wa a surprise to him, and that  his  Texas
Brigade  wanted to prove themselves worthy.  The opportunity
came June 27, 1862 at Gaines's Mill.  The Confederates  made
several  advances  during  the day without much success.  In
the afternoon Hood's Texas Brigade broke the Union line  and
led  to  a  withdrawal  by  the  Yankees.   This battlefield
success made "the gallant" Hood a popular figure in Richmond
after the Seven Days Campaign.                              

The  next major action for Hood's Texans was Second Manassas
August 1862.  Hood's brigade went against the 5th  New  York
and reduced that regiment from 550 to 90 men.               

At Sharpsburg on September 17, 1862 Hood's Division of 2,000
men knocked Yankee Joe Hooker's corps  out  of  the  battle.
Hood's  career  as  a  Confederate general was at its zenith
after this bloody fight.                                    

The next major action for Hood was Gettysburg.  On  July  2,
1963  Hood's  repeated  requests to Longstreet to change the
direction of his attack to sweep behind the Round Tops  were

Longstreet sent a messenger to Hood to tell him to attack as
General Lee had ordered.  As Hood's Division became engaged,
an exploding shell above Hood sent fragments ranging through
his left hand, forearm, elbow, and biceps.  The wounded Hood
rode  in  an  ambulance  with South Carolinian Wade Hampton.
After several weeks in Staunton, Hood arrived in Richmond in
early September.                                            

During  this  time  Hood's  infatuation  with  Sally  "Buck"
Preston, whom he had met previously, blazed.   Mary  Chesnut
described Buck as the most beautiful lady in the South.     

Hood was sent to Chickamauga to serve with Longstreet. There
he was shot in the leg,  which  had  to  be  amputated.   He
received an artificial leg.                                 

In February 1864, Hood was sent to the Army of Tennessee, in
which he became a corps commander under Joseph E.  Johnston.
On  July 17 Jefferson Davis ordered Hood to replace Johnston
as Commanding General of the Army of Tennessee.   Hood  felt
that  the  way  to  defeat Sherman was to lead his Army into
Tennessee, where the Yankees had two armies  under  John  M.
Schofield  and  Virginian George H.  Thomas.  Hood's attacks
against  Schofield  at  Franklin  and  against   Thomas   at
Nashville  were  disasters.   Hood  led his battered army to
Mississippi.  On  January  23,  1865,  his  resignation  was
accepted by General Beauregard.                             

On  the  way  to  Richmond,  he  stopped  in Columbia, South
Carolina for a visit with the Prestons and  a  reunion  with
Sally.  Nothing came of this.                               

After  writing  his  report in Richmond, Hood was ordered to
proceed to Texas.  He surrendeded to Yankee authorities  May
31, 1865 in Natchez.                                        

After  The  War,  he  settled  in  New  Orleans.   After  an
unsuccessful venture in the cotton business, he entered  the
insurance  business.  That fared no better.  He married Anna
Maria Hennen, and they had eleven children in ten years. For
those of you doing the math, there were three sets of twins.
In August 1879, Anna died of yellow fever, followed by  Hood
six days later.  Their oldest daughter died five hours after
John Bell Hood.  The ten orphaned children were  adopted  by
seven different families.                                   

Sam  Watkins,  author  of Company Aytch, described Hood as a
good man.  Hood's  autobiography  is  entitled  Advance  and

Reporter's  note:  Advance  and Retreat is in the Library of
Virginia in book form and in the Henrico County  Library  as
an E book.                                                  

Also  in the Henrico Library are The Gallant Hood (321 pp.),
by John P.  Dyer and John Bell Hood and the War for Southern
Independence  (203 pp.), by Richard M.  McMurry.  Numbers of
pages do not include footnotes.                             


Commander: Taylor Cowardin 359-9277 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: William F. Shumadine, III 285-4044 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Michael Kidd 270-9651 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Judge Advocate: Richard B. Campbell 278-6488 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 474-1978


Webmaster: Gary F. Cowardin 262-0534 Website: War Horse: David P. George 200-1311



The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the
upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period September, 2007
through the current month.   As  you  know,  our  cumulative
listing starts in July of each year.                        

Ben Baird
Lloyd Brooks
Brian Cowardin*
Clint Cowardin*
Gary Cowardin
Lee Crenshaw*
Raymond Crews*
Jerold Evans*
Kitty Faglie*
Richard Faglie*
Dave George
Pat Hoggard
Louis Heindl
Chris Jewett
John Kane
Roger Kirby
Mike Miller*
Conway Moncure
Joe Moschetti
Preston Nuttall
Rufus Sarvay
Lewis Mills
Waite Rawls
Peyton Roden
Bill Setzer
John Shumadine
Will Schumadine
Harrison Taylor
Walter Tucker*
John Vial
Will Wallace
David Ware
Harold Whitmore
Hugh Williams
Joe Wright

In Memory of Bill Jones-Anonymous
In memory of Tom Lauterbach-Anonymous
In Memory of Chuck Walton-Ben Baird

* - Multiple contributions                 
§ - Visitor Donation                       
+ - in memory of Past Cmdr. Tom Lauterbach 


Longworth's Philosophy
Fill what's empty.          
Empty what's full.          
And scratch where it itches.
			           Alice Roosevelt Longworth

The  number  of people watching you is directly proportional
to the stupidity of your action.                            

Remember: In America it's not how much the item costs,  it's
how much you save.                                          

The  only  way to prevent getting food on your necktie is to
put it in the refrigerator.                                 

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©2007 James Longstreet Camp, #1247, SCV - Richmond, Virginia